KUALA LUMPUR, Sept 21 ― A Cabinet paper is being prepared regarding the proposal to separate judicial and legal services at the lower court levels, Chief Justice Tan Sri Arifin Zakaria said today.

“There is progress, the Cabinet paper is being prepared,” Arifin told reporters after attending the Malaysia Bar’s International Law Conference there.

Arifin, who has been pushing for the separation, previously said in July that the proposal has been submitted to the Judicial and Services Commission for approval.

However, he did not give a specific deadline as to when the proposal will come into effect.

On another note, Malaysia’s three highest judges will have their term extended by another six months, Chief Justice Tan Sri Arifin Zakaria confirmed today.

Arifin was due to retire at the end of this month but will now continue until next April while he puts together a succession plan.

Court of Appeal president Tan Sri Md Raus Sharif and Chief Judge of Malaya Tan Sri Zulkifli Ahmad Makinun, who are both also due to retire next year, have also been given six-month extensions.

“They will be serving further after I retire,” Arifin told reporters after attending the Malaysian Bar’s International Law Conference today.

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